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Sheep Expansion Start

 
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We have not got all our numbers yet for the bank as my logging accident put me back on that, but we are at a point where we know we need to expand. It would be easier with the bank to help finance it instead of ourselves, but we are not about sit around and talk about things either. Today we started. As my good friend always says, "Just start. Always finish strong, but you have to start."

One of our barns is 500 feet away from our house and it is a pain to shuttle animals back and forth that far, so moving it is a big part of the plan. It is 24 x 48 so a sizable barn to move, but can accommodate 100 extra sheep...definitely worth moving. (I am already using it inconveniently and paying property taxes on it). Then we plan to move another smaller shed into position here as well so that we can have an area dedicated just to veterinarian care of the sheep. But a junk shed and our chicken coop was in the way of where we want to connect them to our lambing barn, so today down came the chicken coop.

That unto itself is kind of funny because it was kind of the taj ma hal of chicken coops; nothing to look at from the outside, but it was super insulated, had a concrete floor, had lights, outlets, shelving, a separate grain area, self closing doors so the chickens could not get past the kids, and even had Geo-Thermal heat to keep the eggs coming all winter. Just in the wrong spot, so after salvaging the steel roof and some chicken paraphernalia, the bulldozer took care of the coop! My wife and I laughed because here we just destroyed a perfectly sound building. It sounds idiotic until you realize that is how we live our lives, not holding onto nostalgia, but always improving on what we got so things get better here. Now that lambing season is over, our ducks and chickens can stay there until their new coop is built...and yes with all the amenities.

A lot of work ahead for sure, but as my good friend said, "You have to start." Today we started, a red letter day indeed.

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pollinator
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hugelkultur forest garden hunting chicken food preservation bee
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Oh man, it's so true. I hear about planning all your roads and buildings but there are things you have to work around and then you decide, "Dude I am not working around this one second longer!" Many change with your situation, and you have to roll with it.

Case in point, my greenhouse (came with the property) is totally in the wrong spot. No water access no power access. about as far from the house as you can get. I use it to store stuff for the silvopasture project, have never sprouted anything there. But this is a $2500 structure on an $1000 pad (I have receipts). That gets no light in the winter/spring and is baked all summer. When I can't stand it anymore I will move it but for right now I just look at it and wonder at the lack of planning.

Travis good to hear you are back taking names up there.

 
Travis Johnson
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Still not running at 100% as I had to take three breaks throughout the day, but still managed to get something done. Like everything there is a whole series of steps involved in this project, along with every project, and so it is best to just to plod along, but a lot easier to stay in motion once the project is moving along.

As for your greenhouse...ROAD TRIP! (I actually wish I could, what an an encouragement that would be to both me and you...or whomever homestead I stopped at. I can picture it, just spending a few days providing advice and encouragement, and of course free labor and camaraderie so homesteaders do not give up hope, making friends along the way maybe in exchange for a bed or a meal...sounds perfect for a retired 42 year old workaholic...an oxy-moron if there ever was one).

But I would love to help you in that regard. Buildings are actually easier to move then most people think, and from a frugality point of view; well worth doing. And surprisingly it does not take a big machine to move things around. Last year they moved a really large one room school house 5 miles up some pretty big hills with 4 draft horses for the historical society. And these two building moves will be 5 and 6 for me and this year I have a bulldozer and skidder in assistance so I see no reason why it should be a huge deal to get done. The concrete pad would have to stay, but you can always reuse it. The pad I am going to leave behind is part of my overall plan as well...a silage pad so I stay in compliance with USDA rules.
 
Tj Jefferson
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Funny story,but it looks like we will repurpose the greenhouse into a bird-raising facility. Won't be used as much as I would like but at least it's something.
 
Travis Johnson
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Tj Jefferson wrote:Funny story,but it looks like we will repurpose the greenhouse into a bird-raising facility. Won't be used as much as I would like but at least it's something.



I am trying to sell-out, but I cannot seem to get there.

My plans on expansion have changed since I started this topic, and so my homestead, and my sheep are up for sale. Still, I am out mowing my lawn today, and a guy stops in and asks if I buy sheep. I say I sell sheep, but do not buy them, and so he says, "well do you want six for free? There is no such thing as a free piano, so I will have to have them hauled here, and shorn, but he cannot afford the hay anymore, so he must get rid of them.

They can graze here. I got plenty of pasture under wire, and plenty of hay. I'll help a guy out. Usually they get hard up anyway, and just drop off the sheep in the field, so I minds well wok with the guy on the front end. There is nothing as surprising as looking out and seeing new sheep out in the field. "Where the heck did they come from", you wonder.
 
Tj Jefferson
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Travis, your stories are almost fairy tales for those of us in the "regular world". I've been looking for sheep, and found some I like (no assisted delivery, no worming/FAMACHA only, mixed hair sheep, etc) but they are $150. The idea of free sheep is extraordinary. You and Mike Turner have some amazing input. And good stories to boot.
 
Travis Johnson
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Tj Jefferson wrote:Travis, your stories are almost fairy tales for those of us in the "regular world". I've been looking for sheep, and found some I like (no assisted delivery, no worming/FAMACHA only, mixed hair sheep, etc) but they are $150. The idea of free sheep is extraordinary. You and Mike Turner have some amazing input. And good stories to boot.



Well my day got even more strange...

Last night I am watching TV with my family and there is a knock on the door. A neighbor of mine who owns a earthworks company, has also got contracts mowing the sides of the road for the county. He has got his guys doing other stuff, so thought I might be interested in running his mow mower for him. It is a pretty sweet arrangement. I can work whenever I want, as long as I want, just keep an eye on the oil levels of the tractor, and mow as much as I can back to the edge of the woods to keep the trees down. He even has a full time mechanic so if something breaks...just call the mechanic up, and he will fix it.

The thing was, I was just thinking about doing something. My house is all set to sell, a high-bed equipment trailer I was welding up is done, and I was kind of bored to tell you the truth. I thought about doing a little bit of logging, but that is more winter work as it is kind of hot out now, so this works perfect. Mowing the sides of the road is a dream job for me really. Drive around all day in a tractor and make tall grass short...and get paid well for it. Sure I can do that for a few months.
 
What's that smell? I think this tiny ad may have stepped in something.
Dave Burton's Boot Adventures at Wheaton Labs and Basecamp
https://permies.com/t/119676/permaculture-projects/Dave-Burton-Boot-Adventures-Wheaton
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